V. Benigno, M. Repetto

Institute for Educational Technology - CNR (ITALY)
Technology and social media offer a valuable and irreplaceable contribution for education of students with special needs. It is the case of the several students who are inhibited from attending a regular instructional track for health reasons, since they are confined in their home or in a hospital. Hospital school and home education are two institutionally regulated services, active in many countries. Nevertheless, these services are often inadequate or incomplete whereas schools are unable to complement them providing flexible educational paths tailored for students unable to physically attend them.

This work describes two case studies dealing with homebound students whose different needs of inclusion were linked to their specific personal situations. In relation with these needs, a set of educational scenarios were created, in which network technology and social media played a major role to promote a socio-educational inclusion process of both the students involving their teachers and their classmates. Thanks to appropriate and innovative strategies aimed at enhancing learning, both the students achieved a satisfactory level of learning. Moreover, the former student was able to establish fresh relationships with her peers; while the latter student maintained – although at a distance - her own yet existing relationships with peers and teachers.